Skip Navigation

travelling the usa for 3 months by car - where should we go?

Travel Forums North America travelling the usa for 3 months by car - where should we go?

1. Posted by bertie.d (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Hey there,
Next december my boyfriend and I are planning on travelling the US for 3 months. We will be renting/buying a car for transport and plan to stay at budget accomodation. As we have plenty of time to save we have not yet put restrictions on where we will go. We are mainly interested in the east and west coasts but want to see as much as we can! Does anyone have sugegstions of must-see places? I am interested in history and natural wonders while he is mainly interested in horse racing and basketball - so theres alot to cover!
Any suggestions would be great!
Thanks.

2. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 8y

I'm just back from my 2nd visit to the States, and I loved Miami! The beaches, the nice weather, the chilled out atmosphere, and plenty to keep you busy if you're not a sunbather ;) I have also been to some awesome national parks in the USA, my favourites being Yellowstone, Mesa Verde and Monument Valley. Theres also some pretty good hikes in the Grand Tetons and Zion. Vegas is also good for a bit of fun

3. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 284 posts) 8y

Quoting bertie.d

Hey there,
Next december my boyfriend and I are planning on travelling the US for 3 months. We will be renting/buying a car for transport and plan to stay at budget accomodation. As we have plenty of time to save we have not yet put restrictions on where we will go. We are mainly interested in the east and west coasts but want to see as much as we can! Does anyone have sugegstions of must-see places? I am interested in history and natural wonders while he is mainly interested in horse racing and basketball - so theres alot to cover!
Any suggestions would be great!
Thanks.

Toward the end of your trip do visit the Southwest including New Mexico and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Do note it can be somewhat cool that time of year but you'll be rewarded with clear vistas and few tourists.
Another stop is Death Valley, California where the weather is great unlike July when it would be 120 degrees F.

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

That time of year will rather restrict your travel in places like the NE (Boston-Washington) unless you're looking for colder temps? You might want to plan on being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras (normally early Feb. - check exact dates online). The problem is there's that big portion of the Texas-New Mexico area with very little to see for days on end, but then it gets very interesting from NM on to California. Colorado is simply beautiful, but winter driving conditions could restrict your travel considerably anywhere in the Rockies. American Interstate highways are totally boring unless you enjoy thousands of miles of concrete mile after mile - I do not!

April would give you considerably better weather and you could see America without the tire chains.

5. Posted by bkjones (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Like the other posters have said, that is the generally cold time here in the USA. I have pretty much just traveled the west coast (I'm from Seattle) and been to Florida a bunch of times. If you wanted to save your last bit of traveling in Feb then Florida would be a great place to end with. In feb its generally about 80 every day and sunny perfect weather. I do also like Miami and South Beach as well as Orlando. And if you have the time or desire clearwater beach on the gulf is the nicest beach I have been to. As far as west coast, Grand Canyon was really amazing and if you do that then definitely head into vegas especially if your husband likes sports or sports betting. California has a lot of good things to do and is fairly nice year round. Unless you want to see Seattle in the rain you prob don't want to come here in any of those months seeing as it rains for about 6 months straight. Yellowstone and the grand tetons are amazing but will be cold. Any questions about things pm me.

6. Posted by KH33 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

I'm from Portland, Oregon and highly recommend coming to the Pacific Northwest. True, you'll probably experience rain, but it's well worth the lush green you'll experience. And if you're into snow sports, you'll love it!

Places you should consider visiting on the West Coast: San Diego (CA), San Francisco (CA), Crater Lake (OR), Mt. Hood (OR), Portland (OR), Mt. St. Helens (WA), San Juan Islands (WA), Seattle (WA), Victoria (BC), Vancouver (BC) and Whistler (BC). The last couple stops are in Canada, so I don't know if you would consider them or not.

Happy Traveling!

Kirsten

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Bertie,
I recommend you buy a van, sell it when you leave. Then you have the option of sleeping in it when you hit the Nat'l Parks of just don't want to pay the motel rates here in the US. It is very difficult to find a room under $40 anymore. That is nationwide. There are heaps of decent vans here for under 2K. Drive it for your 3 months and lose maybe $500. Sleep in it just 30 days out of 90 and you will save 1K. Much better option than renting for 3 months.

I would suggest you stay south as it will be cold the entire time you are here in the northern states. Hit the Utah parks, Grand Canyon, Vegas for sure. Send me a PM if you have questions.

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Yes, budget accommodations here means $40.-80. a room depending on location. I stayed in a tiny room in Long Beach, Washington recently for $50. and that was really cheap for that area. Hostels* are few and far between in the US, and restaurant prices have gone through the roof recently. I remember when Denny's charged $2.99 for breakfast just 3 years ago - now it's $5.99 for a mediocre one at that! Pizza prices here are now outrageous, unless you'll settle for take-n-bake. Transit prices here in Portland are currently $2.30 or $4.75 all day, but we do have a free/fareless zone downtown. Portland is considered to be the cheapest large city on the West Coast too!

In this area many people cut costs by camping, and you will normally be charged a daily rate for the camp site, but this could be a great experience since this state is loaded with white-water rivers and fairly mild temperatures (except in mid-winter). Here's a partial list of campgrounds in Oregon: http://tinyurl.com/4pdhbv

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 13, 2008, at 10:33 PM by Daawgon ]

9. Posted by bertie.d (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Thanks for all the suggestions it has given us alot to think about! It's harder to than I thought! We were expecting it to be quite cold so that won't stop us from visiting the north but how difficult should we expect the driving to be? As we have never even seen snow we have no experience driving in it! Unfortunately Dec-March is the only time we are able to go so we want to do the best we can despite the cold weather! Assume we are staying in budget accomodation and travelling down the east coast from maine how much should we aim to save approximately? And will 3 months be enough time to cover this area? Hopefully (if time permits) we are thinking to drive the east coast then do a 14 day contiki of the west coast (has anyone done the wild western contiki tour?) and possibly fit in a quick visit in oregon. Is this realistic?
Thanks for everyones answers so far its been great!

10. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Bertie,
Three months gives you time to see about everything the US has to offer. Driving on snow/ice can be tricky, even for those used to it. Make sure your car, rental or buy, has good tires on it. A set of
chains from Wal Mart would be a decent investment as well.

If you are going to stay in motels, figure $50/nite, times 90, or $4,500 for motels alone. This is why I recommend you buy a van and sleep in it some of the time. You could pay for the van if you slept in it just 30 days out of your trip. PM me if you have questions.